Total Recall

Construction worker Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been having recurring dreams of a brunette woman named Melina (Rachel Ticotin), and of Mars, which has been colonized. He tells his blonde wife Lori (Sharon Stone) about the dreams, and that he wants to move to Mars, but Lori refuses because she hates Mars. Meanwhile, Mars administrator Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox) has been ruling Mars like a dictator, and the Mars Freedom Brigade, a group of rebels led by the mysterious Kuato, are fighting to end Cohaagen's evil leadership. Quaid visits Rekall Inc, a travel agency which implants memories of vacations in the minds of its customers. Quaid requests a trip to Mars, in which he will be a secret agent. During his implant procedure however, the Rekall technicians pop Quaid's memory cap(before they can implant his ego trip), and he violently lashes out, as if he really is a Mars secret agent. The technicians sedate Quaid and dump him in a Johnnycab which takes him to his apartment building.

He is suddenly attacked by armed men led by his coworker Harry (Robert Costanzo), who had earlier warned him not to go to Rekall. Quaid kills Harry and his henchmen and runs home. He tells a disbelieving Lori about it and goes to wash the blood off his hands. Lori tries to kill him afterwards, but he overpowers her, holding her at gunpoint and demanding answers. Lori is not Quaid's wife, but an agent sent by Cohaagen to watch Quaid after they erased his memory and implanted a new one. Quaid knocks Lori unconscious with the gun after seeing more villains on the video monitor. The chief villain is the evil Richter (Michael Ironside), Lori's real husband. Richter's right hand man is the equally vicious agent Helm (Michael Champion). After an escalator gun battle in the subway, Quaid escapes to a hotel and receives a suitcase from an old ally. Quaid escapes Richter and Helm again.

At an abandoned factory, Quaid opens the case and sees a video recording of Hauser, his former identity. Hauser tells Quaid to go to Mars, find Melina, and stop Cohaagen. Richter and Helm follow Quaid to the Mars spaceport, but he escapes again after Richter shoots a hole in the dome, forcing everyone to grab hold of something to avoid being sucked outside onto the airless surface. Eventually, Quaid meets a Martian cab driver named Benny (Mel Johnson, Jr.), who takes him to Venusville where Quaid meets Melina, but she doesn't believe his story and forces him to leave. At his Hilton Hotel room, Quaid is visited by Rekall technician Dr. Edgemar (Roy Brocksmith), who claims that the chases and the trip to Mars are all part of Quaid's Rekall ego trip. Edgemar brings Lori in, and she tells Quaid to return to her. Edgemar offers Quaid a red pill to wake him from the dream. Quaid shoots Edgemar in the forehead after seeing him sweat in fear, and spits the pill out. Quaid realises he is in reality. Four agents blast into the room and capture Quaid with Lori's help. Richter and Helm arrange to meet them at the service elevator. At the service elevator, Melina kills the agents and fights Lori. Just as Lori prepares to kill Melina, Quaid grabs a gun and shoots Lori in the forehead.

Richter and Helm chase them, as Richter wants revenge for Lori's death. Richter tries to shoot Quaid and Melina while they stand in front of the dome, but Helm smashes Richter's arm down before he can crack the dome. During a car chase with the enraged Richter and Helm, Benny takes Quaid and Melina to the Last Resort, where rebel mutant Tony (Dean Norris) opens a secret doorway for the trio to escape through. Richter, Helm, and soldiers arrive and attack the customers. Helm shoots Tony in the shoulder, but Tony's friend Thumbelina (Debbie Lee Carrington) kills Helm with a Bowie knife. Thumbelina also shoots some of the soldiers. Richter and the remaining soldiers escape and retreat after Cohaagen orders them to get out of Sector G. As punishment for protecting Quaid, Cohaagen shuts off the giant fans in Venusville and closes the entrances to it so the mutants will die from asphyxiation. Quaid, Melina and Benny enter the rebel hideout, where Quaid meets the psychic mutant Kuato (Marshall Bell). Kuato unlocks the secret in Quaid's mind: an alien reactor in the Mars Pyramid Mine which can provide oxygen for the Mars atmosphere. Benny reveals he is one of the villains after shooting Kuato during a gun battle with Cohaagen's soldiers. Richter delivers the killing shot to Kuato, and Quaid and Melina are taken to Cohaagen. It turns out Hauser worked for Cohaagen, and volunteered to become Quaid in order to infiltrate the rebel base and kill Kuato.

Quaid and Melina escape and head into the Mine to start the reactor, but Benny attacks them with a drilling mole vehicle. Quaid kills Benny with a drill hammer. Then Quaid and Melina kill Cohaagen's remaining soldiers. Quaid battles Richter on a freight elevator. Quaid flips Richter over the side, guillotine ridges cut off Richter's arms and Richter falls to his death. In the reactor control room, Cohaagen attempts to blow up the reactor, but Quaid and Melina stop him. Quaid throws the bomb down a shaft, but the explosion causes a vacuum, sucking Cohaagen outside where he decompresses and dies. Quaid starts the reactor, but he and Melina get sucked outside. They are saved after the reactor melts the ice core and releases the oxygen for Mars. This also saves everyone in Venusville. Mars now has a blue sky and an atmosphere. Tony, Thumbelina, and the other humans and mutants stand on the Mars surface, gazing at the blue sky. Quaid and Melina admire the blue sky and kiss each other.

Plot hole: When Hauser/Quaid returns to Mars, some of the people that knew him before as Hauser call him Quaid. (00:45:40)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: If you're talking about when he's disguised as the fat woman, only Richter calls him Quaid. But he knew him as Quaid.

More mistakes in Total Recall

Hauser: Howdy, stranger. This is Hauser. If things have gone wrong, I'm talking to myself, and you've got a wet towel wrapped around your head. Now, whatever your name is, get ready for the big surprise. You are not you. You are me.
Quaid: No shit.

More quotes from Total Recall

Trivia: The Kuato model was handled by about 15 puppeteers, each controlling a different part of his face and hands. (01:15:30)

More trivia for Total Recall

Question: Does the movie give any indication with any evidence in the movie that Douglas is dreaming for the ending?

Athletic Jason

Answer: Verhoeven points out that if a viewer believes the whole film is a dream, then Edgemar's prediction that Quaid will end up being lobotomized is fulfilled in the fade to white which ends the movie.

Answer: When Dr. Edgemar is in the hotel room with Quaid and Lori, Quaid puts a gun to Edgemar's head and says that if it's all a dream, that Quaid could just pull the trigger and it wouldn't really matter. Edgemar goes into details about consequences of what would happen if Quaid killed him. As seen, when Quaid kills Edgemar the walls of the hotel room crash down, Quaid believes he's the rebel savior, had visions of alien civilization and is best friends with Cohaagen and the white light that is at the end of the movie indicates that Quaid was lobotomized.

Also, consider the end when Quaid and Melina are on the surface of Mars, suffocating. Their eyes are bulging, the Mars atmosphere is burning their lungs, and their faces are bloated. Yet a few minutes later they're perfectly normal and having a romantic kiss.

Jason Hoffman

Answer: There are many signs that the adventure was reality. When Quaid watched the news (before going to Rekall), the newscasters asked Cohaagen about Kuato and alien artifacts (the alien reactor) in the Mars Pyramid Mine. Lori didn't want Quaid going to Mars or thinking about Mars. Harry didn't want Quaid to go to Rekall, as he sounded very intense when he said this to Quaid. The Rekall technicians popped Quaid's memory cap before they could implant his ego trip. Richter and Helm were watching Quaid the whole time and his trip to Rekall made them attempt to kill him before he could remember the alien reactor and his previous identity. Edgemar lied when he said Quaid's "dream" started in the middle of the implant procedure when Dr. Lull had told McClane they hadn't implanted the ego trip yet. Edgemar shouldn't have been sweating if it was a dream. Richter, Helm, Lori, Edgemar, and Benny were all trying to help Cohaagen keep his evil power and prevent Mars from having free air.

Answer: The "dream" is when Quaid thinks Lori is his wife. Lori is really Richter's wife. The dreams Quaid had of Melina were visions reminding him of his past life.

Answer: Edgemar's red pill may have been a knockout dose so Richter, Helm, and Lori could take Quaid to Cohaagen. The red pill could also have possibly been poison, like cyanide. The pill wouldn't have returned Quaid to reality because he was still in reality.

More questions & answers from Total Recall

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